Episode 101: Introducing The Prosperous Nonprofit Podcast
[00:00:00] Hey there. If you’re looking for the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast, you’re in the right place after a hundred amazing episodes, we’re changing things up to serve you the most inspiring content in a fresh new way. Thanks for being here and keep listening.
Welcome to the prosperous nonprofit, the podcast for leaders who are building financially sustainable and impactful nonprofits and changing the world. I’m Stephanie Kowski, a Chief Financial Officer and founder and c e O of 100 Degrees Consulting. My personal mission is to empower leaders. To better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income.
On this show, we talk to people who are leading the nonprofit sector in new, innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial ways, creating organizations that fuel their lives, their hearts, and their communities. Let’s dive in.[00:01:00]
Hello friends. Welcome back. My dear podcast listeners, thank you for being here. Thanks for hanging around through our quick little hiatus. If you’ve been a longtime listener of 100 degrees of entrepreneurship, you know that we. Launch a new episode every single week, and we have done so for nearly 100 weeks.
I’m fairly certain I’ve never done anything that consistently before in my life. So we took a little break and that was really hard because it felt like we were breaking this streak. And y’all know me. I am a Capricorn. I’m an Enneagram three. And so that kind of felt like a little failure, which you know, I don’t really do well with.
That’s the Enneagram three in me, but it was all for the greater good. I have so much to catch you up on, and I wanna tell you what to expect with this little refresh of the [00:02:00] podcast. So if you listened to our intro, you probably heard that this is kind of no longer the 100 degrees of Entrepreneurship podcast.
Welcome to the Prosperous nonprofit. So there’s a whole backstory to this that I am gonna share with you, but what we did was we just changed the name. And so if you want to go back and grab an episode that you remember that we did with, you know, an amazing guest a year ago. On a particular topic.
They’re all still here. They’re all still in this feed. I did not want to separate it because we do have a hundred amazing episodes that are still incredibly relevant for, for me, for my business, for our clients, for you, for our listeners. So I didn’t want to. Completely create a new feed and make that one go away.
So everything is still here. You just have a slightly new cover art, it kind of looks the same, same picture. We just changed the name. And um, you’ll be just searching for the prosperous nonprofit [00:03:00] anywhere that you listen to podcasts. So, How and why did this change come about? So our old podcast, 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship, and our new podcast, the Prosperous Nonprofit.
Okay, so y’all know my backstory. I think that was episode one, of 100 Degrees of Entrepreneurship. So if you really wanna rewind, rewind all the way back there and listen to that episode. If you haven’t listened to it, my, the, the gist of my story is that I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Um, after college I found myself at a midtown Manhattan law firm in a skyscraper in Times Square, completely hating my life and re rethinking everything.
And through a number of different steps along the way, I landed myself at a nonprofit that was working in Afghani. and I absolutely fell in love with the work I was wearing all of the hats, um, but really sort of latched onto the [00:04:00] finance piece of things and so decided to build my education. I went back and got my master’s degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management and finance.
Um, I did that and then I focused my career on. Nonprofit finance, and so I grew in different roles and eventually was a C F O of a large organization, large nonprofit that was working in seven different countries around the world. And then this is like the very abridged version here. When I was about to have my first baby, my older daughter, I decided to turn my day job into my own gig because I basically, Didn’t wanna have to, to have to ask anybody’s permission to take her to baby classes, and, and just hang out with this, this newborn daughter that was so, so wanted for so, so, so long.
Um, that infertility story is a, a story for another day. , that journey. But I just wanted to be able to hang out with my baby, but also [00:05:00] still make money and, and stay fresh in my career. So I started. 100 degrees consulting with the intention of being a sort of fractional, outsourced C F O for nonprofits.
And I thought, okay, if I can work for maybe four or five different organizations, that would be great. That’s the perfect balance that I wanted. However, that grew really fast. And then I hired people and then more clients, and more people and more clients, and so now we have a team of about 14 people globally that work with all of our clients and
I’m getting to the journey, I’m getting to the, the podcast transition here. Okay. So, While, over the past seven years while I’ve been running this business, not only have we been working with nonprofits, but we’ve also been working with small businesses because very quickly after I started, I had small businesses coming to me that were like, We have the same challenges that nonprofits do, so can you help us too?
[00:06:00] And I thought, I think so, right? I think I can help them. It’s kind of the same, you know, the same forecasting tools, the same processes. And so, so I said, yeah. And so what happened was that our clients, like more small business clients came, came to us. So over the years, we actually were about 50 50. About half of our clients were nonprofits.
About half were small businesses. But as we continued to grow and dozens upon dozens upon dozens of clients on both sides of those, you know, those two areas, it really felt like we were running two different businesses. We had two different ideal clients. So that meant two different marketing messages.
That meant two different places where our ideal clients were hanging out. So that’s double the amount of marketing. We also needed two totally different type of employees with different. [00:07:00] Expertise. We needed, um, two different processes internally. Like even thinking about our project management system. We don’t really, we couldn’t really have one template for this is how we manage a client’s monthly workflow.
It was different. For nonprofits versus small businesses. And so while the overarching problems and challenges as those clients faced were the same, the management of that was actually really, really different. So we thought about a lot of different solutions internally. We thought about just like, okay, let’s just keep going as is and really work on strengthening the small business side.
Because if I’m being honest, that was our weak spot. We felt very strong and very confident in nonprofit, but there were some, you know, challenges that we really had to shore up on the small business side. So that was an option. Okay, let’s just put all of our efforts into small business and like, let’s kind of fix it, right?
It wasn’t that anything was necessarily broken, [00:08:00] it just wasn’t as strong as nonprofit. But then we thought, well, what if we just decided to do one thing, work with one client, go all in on one thing? And that idea felt really freaking scary, but then it started to feel really good. I was imagining what would be possible if I could just focus on serving one type of client, if I could just focus on speaking to one person and really honing in on one person’s pain points.
And so we decided to go all in on nonprofits. and that was really, really hard for so many reasons. We had a team that was working on small business and we have clients that have been working with us some for literally years, four [00:09:00] plus five years, and we also had new clients that had just started with us less than a year ago that we’re really making progress and gaining traction, and it felt really hard and scary to say goodbye.
I really knew that this was the most important thing and the best decision for 100 degrees and for me, um, and for our team and for our cl for everybody. Honestly, the way I kept talking about it in, you know, to to everybody, to our clients and to our team, is that it’s a win-win win. It’s a win for 100 degrees because we can really focus on what we do best and get even better at that, which is nonprofit.
It’s a win for our clients because they are gonna get to go to somebody who 100% specializes in small business and is not sort of shifting their efforts between two different industries. And it’s also a win for the new company that would get [00:10:00] to take these clients on. And so we made this transition, and in doing that, I was thinking, okay, well what is gonna happen to the podcast?
Is the podcast gonna go away? Are we gonna just like, you know, stop recording forever and let 100 degrees of entrepreneurship just hang out? And, you know, the episodes wouldn’t go anywhere, but we wouldn’t add anymore. Or did I wanna continue the podcast? I have to admit, um, you know, I was feeling a little burnt out because there were a lot of things going on.
Um, but I ultimately decided that the podcast, I love it. I’ve gotten to connect with so many incredible people and really have gotten to. Spent more time in my own, like, I don’t know, kind of building like my own thought leadership and really putting some, some good content out there. And so I decided the podcast is here to stay my friends.
And so that is the 10 [00:11:00] minute story of how we got from 100 degrees of entrepreneurship. Two, the prosperous nonprofit. So. I wanna share a couple things about what the prosperous nonprofit is going to be. First of all, if you are a business owner who is listening, you’re not a nonprofit, you have nothing to do with nonprofits, you’re not really interested in nonprofits, I would really encourage you to stay.
Do not unsubscribe, and here’s why. A lot of what we’re talking about, Is going to be lessons and things that we’re doing in the entrepreneurial space and how they can be applied to nonprofits. So I am bringing on, yes, who are doing new, innovative, disruptive, and. entrepreneurial things within their nonprofit.
And so even though they are applying these things to a 5 0 1 organization, right, they [00:12:00] are absolutely things that you still can and should apply in your business. And so I wanna just encourage you to stick around because there’s gonna be some really, really good stuff, um, at the end of the day.
Nonprofits and small businesses in many ways are not that dissimilar, especially for all of you listening who run businesses. Cuz I know you are all purpose driven and mission focused, and you’re really focused on serving your people as are nonprofits. So I want you to hang around so, The common thread, I think of everything that you’re gonna be hearing on this new iteration of the show on the prosperous nonprofit is how people working in the nonprofit sector are doing things differently.
I really have realized over the past several months that all of these lessons that I learn in entrepreneurship, um, as I have built my business over the last seven years are things that [00:13:00] seem kind of like common knowledge in the entrepreneurial space, right? Like, think about just as an example, thinking about like staying in your zone of genius and delegating.
What is not in your zone of genius? That is something that’s like pretty common knowledge. We hear things like that all the time when it comes to running your own business, right? Like delegate what you’re not good at. Delegate what takes you a really long time delegate what is not in your zone of genius.
That same sort of advice is not really as common in the nonprofit sector, right? We sort of wear this badge of honor when we wear all the hats, but actually that’s a highly inefficient and a really ineffective use of resources, and so I’m, that’s just one like very simplified example, but there are amazing people out there doing really.
Groundbreaking things in the nonprofit sector that I’m excited to talk about. So that’s gonna be really the common thread, like how are you doing things differently and how can other people that [00:14:00] work in the nonprofit sector or otherwise apply those to their work as well? So this is not gonna be a show all about money.
I know the title is the prosperous nonprofit, but what that means to me, and I’m gonna be asking every single guest what does that mean to them? It’s gonna be a different answer. And so it’s not necessarily prosperous when it comes to just all about money, right? So I’m not gonna be talking about accounting and you know, bookkeeping and finance things this entire show.
There will definitely be some stuff about that on there, but not the entire thing. But what does prosperous mean to the leaders that we’re gonna be talking about? Because maybe it’s prosperous in terms of time, or prosperous in terms of money, or prosperous, just in terms of flourishing or balance. I mean, there are so many ways that this can go, so I’m really excited because, yeah, prosperous doesn’t just mean money.
So if you think you’re. To like hear a finance show, there’s gonna be pieces of it, but don’t run away because we’re not [00:15:00] gonna be talking about any technical finance, accounting things. So we’re gonna have a mix of interviews and solo shows, solo episodes. I love doing both. I have a longer list of potential yes, than I can currently schedule, so I have filled an entire.
With guest interviews you are going to hear over the coming weeks, and I literally needed to open up more slots on my calendar to be able to accommodate all of the guests I wanna have on. Like these people are freaking incredible and I’m so excited for you to hear from them. So not accepting any unsolicited guest pitches from people that I don’t know.
However, if you are connected to me in some way, Outside of this podcast and you have an idea for an amazing guest, or you yourself would like to be a guest, shoot us a note over hello 100 degrees consulting.com and we can chat. No guarantees. Like I said, my calendar is literally booked with [00:16:00] all of the guests that I have already invited, but.
Shoot me a note and we can talk. Yeah, I think that’s pretty much it. I think that’s it for today. So welcome back. I am so glad you’re here. This was a short episode, but I’ve got so much more coming for you, my friends. I have so much more coming for you. So again, thank you so much for being a loyal listener.
If you’re new here, welcome. Welcome to episode 101. Um, kind of episode one of the prosperous nonprofit, but 101 with me. So thanks again for being here and I will catch you next time. My friends. Before you go, I just wanna thank you for being here. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100 degrees podcast.com.
That’s 100 degrees podcast.com, and I’ll see you next time